June 12th, 2006

Bookends

Josh, Dave, and I have been talking about getting together for some time now. We haven’t seen each other in a long time and life keeps going, so you’ve got to make things happen. I’d seen Dave at Christmas, but I hadn’t seen Josh in probably four years. Josh lives in Michigan, Dave lives in Ohio, and I live in Indiana, so we looked for a place that was “somewhere in the middle” that we could maybe meet up for lunch some Saturday. The talking never gets past “Yeah, we should do that,” but it gets brought up every other month or so. Dave even went so far as to find a place that was “sorta” in the middle. When specific Saturdays were mentioned, though, it was always “I’m on a trip” or “I’m re-roofing the house” or some such nonsense. Josh has five kids, Dave has three, so that made some sort of difference, too, I guess.

This past Thursday, though, Dave said, “I’m free tomorrow night.” So was I. And, after a while, so was Josh. So the plan was made: meet at Welch’s Ribs in Sturgis, MI, at 7:00 p.m. Friday.

Remember when Dave said it was “sorta” in the middle? That apparently meant “mile-wise.” Time-wise their trips were a smidgen over two hours. Mine was three hours. Meh. No big deal, I guess. Dave got there first, I got there a little afterwards, and Josh was late. Slacker.

This is us:

Josh, Mark, & Dave

From left to right: Josh, me, and Dave.

They say that friends are people who know all about you but love you anyway. These are those friends for me. I’ve been friends with them for 20 years and known them even longer. They’ve been around me during all of my biggest mistakes and still love me. They’ve laughed with me, cried with me, preached at me, persuaded me, corrected me, and accepted me. If I haven’t talked to one of them in months, I can pick up the phone and we can pick up right where we left off. If I were to start listing memories I have about these two, we’d be here forever and you’d get bored – we’d be in stitches, but you’d be bored.

Everybody should have friends like Josh and Dave. I hope you do. I hope I’ve been 1/10th the friend to them that they’ve been to me. Thank you, Aundrea (Mrs. Josh) and Angela (Mrs. Dave), for not only letting them come but actually encouraging them to do so.

We left Welch’s a little after 11:00 on Friday after having talked about family, former friends, theology, surgery, movies, and all manner of other things. It was raining and hard to see on my way home, and I didn’t get back until 3:00 Saturday morning, dog-tired and feeling physically awful.

But you know what? I’d do it again. I hope we get the chance.

14 Comments on “Bookends”

  1. kim says:

    Holy long lost twin, Batman!

  2. Angela says:

    For reals! You and Josh could totally pass as brothers!

    Me and my oldest friend could pass as sisters… maybe it's a trait everyone has with that special friend from childhood?

  3. the obscure says:

    I'm sure that guy on the right thanks you for photoshopping his face with the "goofy grin" filter. I'm sure he thanks you ALOT!

  4. Brandy says:

    WOW!
    Totally awesome – friends are the greatest, aren't they?
    Josh and you look the same. For some reason, Dave looks different – Older somehow – But don't tell him I said that :D
    You and Dave need to do a reunion singing tour.

  5. Meags says:

    I'm sad that you've run out of Canadian adventure stories! Only one cure: you must revisit!

  6. MadMup says:

    Kim & Angela: I never really thought Josh and I looked alike, but he *did* start growing his goatee after I'd had mine awhile…

    TO: I only wish I had such skillz. Goofy grin is all his and all natural.

    Brandy: I hate to break it to you, but Dave reads my blog, so you pretty much just told him yourself :)

    Meags: I should have spaced the Canada entries out more :(

  7. HorizonPurple says:

    I only just got the title. Duh, -10 for me. Anyways. I'm glad you got to catch up with your friends. Everyone needs to do that once in a while :)

  8. Danna says:

    Dave looks like he morphed into his MOM!!!! Oh my word! And you & my bro really do look a lot alike. I think this reunion thing was a really awesome idea, & I'm thrilled for you guys to have gotten to grab a segment of time in this warp-speed life. Great picture, Mark ~ thanks for sharing this. :o)

  9. Dave says:

    Hey, nobody's 17 anymore.

    1/110th is more like it, Mark

  10. Dave says:

    EEEEEK! That came out completely wrong. I meant 110% the friend!! Yikes.

  11. Danna says:

    btw, really like the Simon & Garfunkel allusion!

  12. wew says:

    Wow, the comments! I wondered why Josh was so tired that Saturday – we had driven to Michigan for Ed & Kell. Josh had been up w/Ed till 3AM Thursday so it all ran together. He never said anything – too bad, so sad! I think you guys look great, but Dave does look a bit older than you two – maybe some facial hair . . .!

  13. wew says:

    forget some of the above – I got the dates wrong

  14. von Darkmoor says:

    I don't think any of you look like the 3 guys I remember.

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